Epoxy Minnows etc.
There are all kinds of Epoxy Minnows on the market and as Patterns to tie.
I haven't worked that hard at making a Solid Epoxy Minnow of any kind but from using Flex Tubing (Pearl Color) I can say that in my modest stature as a tier, I don't think a Solid Epoxy is much of a Necessity.
I've been working on a basic form for Baby Rainbows and Baby Brown Trout and also a Thereadfin Shad imitation.
I think in many patterns, a tail is made of gray marabou or white marabou or such like; but I've just been extending the longer (5-1/2 cm to 6 cm) Flex Tubing beyond the bend of the hook. This requires making a scissors cut on the belly of the rear flext tube of about 3/4" or so to bet past the hook.
About right above the hook point on the shank, I gather in the tubing to form a tight "waist" and do a half-hitch in my 2 lb Flurocarbon thread.
Then I cut a V for the tail.
The Pearl Tubing is flashy but I have several ways of modifying for color.
Any Shad variant gets stuffed with silver / pearl colored Mylar etc.
The Baby Brown Trout gets stuffed with a Yellow/Gold Yarn stuff that has shiny mylar fibers in it.
Rainbows get stuffed with a pink / purple mylar "Gift Shred" from Hobby Lobby, and it gives a darker pattern (perhaps too dark?).
These can be unweighted, which is I think, the best for a Threadfin Shad, but the Trout forms I weight by using copper wire just behind the eye.
But I long ago abandoned the idea of making a dense and solid "Epoxy Style" minnow.
I just saw no reason to use that much epoxy. I attach 3D eyes ( I prefer the Hareline Dubbing "Oval" style in Pearl, with a greenish tint) and Epoxy over that.
then I dab a little 5 min Epoxy there and there to anchor in any threads that might need it.
I cannot say that I have any knowledge about one Epoxy being better than another, but I did find this out.
The Permatex brand of 5 Minute Epoxy comes in the same style of tube as Devcon Epoxy. The style of "cap" that these have, makes repeated opening and closing of the tube Much easier to work with. There is Less general "leakage" and the Epoxy tends not to Get---All--Over---Everything on the tying bench.
I did find a particular kind of Nail Polish that makes a rather nice grey coloration for the back of the Threadfin Shad. This is the Nicole Brand and the color is
NI F11. Got that at the Wal-Mart. I bought it on a hunch, and it looks so realistic when applied that I was quite surprised.
Re: Epoxy Minnows etc.
Bruce, excellent info! I've made quite a few epoxy bodied flies over the years, and also never really felt the need to make solid epoxy bodies. Most I've made were also coatings over a tube base with additional materials for tails.
On big sizes, like used for Striped bass, mylar tubing doesn't always have the support it needs to provide a good base & achieve the proper shape, so I've used materials such as EZ Body, with the mylar tubing inside. I've added rattles inside many of the bodies as well.
If you spend enough time experimenting with them, there's a lot of things that can be done. I like the idea of stuffing the tubing with various cheap materials.
The nail polish is a great idea too. I usually just use permanent markers for adding back or gill color.
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